• Country

Marek Musil: I Was a Bike Repairman at the Burning Man

By Marek Musil

I wanted to shoot a photo report at the Burning Man festival in Nevada Desert. Through some friends, I contacted the people who run the Biker Repair camp. They got me a ticket to the festival but under one condition – every day from noon till 2PM, I will have to work at the camp.

Everybody has to do something at the festival. Some cook, some mix drinks, and my friend Laurent brought three trailers full of bikes left behind during previous years.

There was always twelve of us on duty at the repair shop but still the line of people waiting for repairs never shortened. I would expect a lot of punctures but the desert is fairly clean. Mostly they came with broken or bent pedals and moving parts choked with dust. People usually bring their oldest, most broken bikes for the festival, so some of them are falling apart almost immediately.

To cross the festival site by a bike takes about forty minutes, without a bike you are lost, so everybody rides. A bike lock is a mandatory item you need to bring to be allowed to take a bike to the festival.